By Megan Sayles
According to a Nielsen report entitled, “The State of the African-American Consumer,” African Americans have a buying power of more than $1 trillion, which is nearly equivalent to the GDP of the 15th largest country in the world.
However, dollars circulate just one time in the Black community compared to six times in the Latinx community and an unlimited amount of times in the White community.
The websites and apps below will help you support Black-owned businesses and keep your dollar flowing in the Black community.
Buy Black Baltimore 365
This local directory was created for Baltimoreans who want to find Black-owned businesses in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Buy Black Baltimore 365 has information for more than 200 businesses and allows users to search by industry and location. Creator Meredith Hurston designed the site to catalog local Black businesses that were being promoted in a Facebook group called Buy Black Networking Baltimore. Buy Black Baltimore 365 also manages a Facebook group, the Black Business Owners Lounge, which allows entrepreneurs to share resources and tips with one another.
Official Black Wall Street
Official Black Wall Street hails as the largest platform for Black-owned businesses. Not only does the app allow you to shop by product, but it provides a list of Black-owned brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants in your city, as well as Black-owned e-commerce enterprises. Official Black Wall Street can also connect you to professional services with Black experts.
Sip Consciously Directory
If you enjoy wine, the Sip Consciously Directory can introduce you to BIPOC-owned wine businesses around the U.S., including retailers, wineries, brands and distributors. The register was created out of a collaboration between Monique Bell, the author of “Terror Noir: Study of Black Wine Entrepreneurs,” and Angela McCrae, founder of Uncorked and Cultured.
Husband and wife duo Anthony and Janique Edwards founded this platform for foodies in 2016. EatOkra has a directory of more than 9,000 Black-owned restaurants, eateries and food trucks across the country. Okra is included in the title of the app because it was the first plant brought over from West Africa during the slave trade. Since its creation, EatOkra has served nearly 350,000 people. This Black History Month the platform is partnering with Pepsi for the #DigInShowLove campaign. Customers can visit Black-owned restaurants through the end of February; take a photo of their meal; post it on Instagram or Twitter; tag @PepsiDigIn and the restaurant’s handle; and use #DigInShowLove and #Sweepstakes for a chance to win $5000 in cash while earning the restaurant a $5000 donation.
I Am Black Business
Joseph Guster and Lee Lewis Jr. created I Am Black Business to support budding entrepreneurs and uplift Black-owned businesses. The platform leverages technology to streamline communication between business owners and consumers. I Am Black Business has a directory of more than 5,000 Black businesses The platform also has a “Projects” section that allows users to shop from dedicated business segments, like black-owned liquor brands and black-owned cigar brands.
Megan Sayles is a Report for America corps member.